20 December 2012

Protecting Little Eyes

Dear Lissy,

We're heading into the Christmas rush, and for the first time I'm not rushing - yay!  We keep the presents/tree/baking part of Christmas small, but it is nice to have everything done ahead of time.  Today's letter is a bit more serious.  As you kiddos head into your teen years, we've had to re-evaluate our strategies for protecting your eyes and hearts.

  1. A daily umbrella of prayer and the Word.  Only a tender heart for God and His word will protect one of us from being sucked into the sin available online.  I pray out loud with you every day that God will protect you from this temptation.  I also pray that any sin that has entered the camp is quickly revealed.  In Psalm 101:3 David asserts:  "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes..."  The Hebrew word carries not only the idea of wickedness, but also of worthlessness -- a far greater temptation in many ways.
  2. Computers, tablets, smart phones and e-readers are only allowed in public rooms (kitchen, living room, classroom) within line of sight of a doorway.  No one, even Dad, has complete privacy when using a computer.  We all know that anyone could see our computer at any time.  No child is allowed to use a device that isn't at least password protected (like our older e-reader).  Your oldest brother has to move his laptop downstairs once everyone else is in bed, and no one is allowed online while mom and dad aren't home.  When you start working and need a cell phone, it will not be a smart phone.  
  3. All electronic devices are password protected with passwords only mom & dad know.  This means we know and approve every time a computer is being used.  On the practical side, I drop anything I'm doing cheerfully any time a computer needs a password.  We don't want to create frustration, just keep on top of computer usage.
  4. All internet enabled computer devices are protected by NetNanny.  A product like Netnanny allows parents to set internet time limits, block sites based on content, and quickly see a history of sites visited.  This used to be all we did. Unfortunately, installing an OS not recognized by Net Nanny allows a child to quickly and easily bypass their safeguards.  In our case, Ubuntu provided an escape hatch to get around the time and site limits we had set.  Netnanny and others are a great resource, but they are NOT failproof. We regularly check all of the computers for contraband OS, downloads, or backdoor programs now, too.  One of the things I do weekly is to simply go on each device and try to access the internet "after hours" or navigate to Google image or YouTube, both of which are completely blocked.  
  5. We directly counsel and question you one-on-one periodically. Our goal isn't to set up electronic razor fences, but rather to protect you while we are teaching you how to guard your own eyes and heart.  Whether it's too much computer time, or content that isn't edifying, we know these temptations will be with you your whole life.  Personal accountability is a huge part of the equation for keeping your heart.
  6. Portable USB "thumb" drives and cloud accounts are held by Mom and Dad, none of you kids is allowed to use a friend's computer/phone/ipod.  This is the most likely place for real problems to enter and persist. While we allow your brothers to back up their work on thumb drives, we keep the drives between uses and periodically check them. We have a very few exceptions to the "friend and computers" rule.  For the most part, you kids are only allowed to use our home computers and network.
  7. Non-school related computer time is very limited.  Your brothers are taking online courses, and need their computers for a couple of hours each day.  Aside from that time, you each only have access to the internet for 2 hours a week.  It would be very easy as a homeschooling family to fritter away hours of time online.  Not gonna happen on our watch!
It would be far easier to ban all internet privileges, but we know that each one of you will have to face the temptation as adults.  We prefer to help you navigate these dangerous waters for several years under our guidance than to send you out to sea alone.  No, we don't trust you (or our own selves!), because we know how deceitful the heart can be.  Keeping the hearts and eyes of our family is a huge task that requires grace (God's help), humility (we and our children are capable of sin given a chance), and wisdom (doing the next right thing).  


14 December 2012

No More Late Bills!

Dear Lissy,

I wanted to share with you one of the tiny changes I made earlier this year that has kept our finances in tip-top shape.

As soon as a bill arrives, write the company name and amount onto your family wall calendar.

Yup, it's that simple.  Most of our bills auto-pay from our checking account, the remainder I pay online.  Just a simple, tiny penciled reminder:  "Amica - 40" reminds me that our auto insurance company will be debiting from my checking account that day.  Once I've paid the bill or the debit clears, I draw a line through the reminder.  If for some reason the bill isn't paid, I drag a highlighter across the reminder before I cross out the date.

Note:  I tried putting this in my more "private" personal calendar and even creating a family financial calendar that synced with our smartphones.  Neither was as effective as having it front and center on the fridge right alongside the dentist appointments, robot workshops, and furnace cleanings.

I wish I could take credit for this simple scheme, but your Aunt Holly is the one who used it first.  If I'd just been smart enough to work with my visual nature instead of against it 15 years ago, I'd have saved myself a lot of headaches and late fees.  Frankly, bills seemed like "family business" and I didn't want a casual visitor to be able to glance at my calendar and think, WHOA!  They're paying $40 a month for car insurance????  They must not be very smart. . . why don't they call Geico?  Problem is, for me, out of sight is out of mind.  

I cannot begin to express the peace I have regarding finances done this way rather than the more traditional Bill Paying Box.  No more procrastination, overdrafts, worry, or guilt.   I know to the dollar how much I need each week to run the household, and I can adjust groceries and incidental purchases if needed.  This little hack isn't very sophisticated, but it functions perfectly for our family.

Up too late and hoping you're snuggly tomorrow, 

P.S.  The other changes I made?  I reconcile our family checking account online daily instead of monthly (Thanks to my friend Les for teaching me that neat trick!), and I make monthly payments in advance toward semi-annual bills(water/sewer, for example).

12 December 2012

Arete & Lovingkindness

Dear Lissy,
It's been a looooong time since I've written you!  I've chosen to use my letter writing time to get in a workout each day, but I miss sharing my heart with you.  Ultimately though, this choice will give us more time together.

In 2012, I chose the concept of "one golden day" as my theme for the year.  It was a powerful choice:  we completely re-organized and simplified the house in February, and it's stayed that way.  I began an elimination diet and rigorous walking regimen in September, and my fitness level and weight are back where they were before I had kids (unfortunately, so is my wardrobe -- eeek!).  Our finances are in good order, despite almost six weeks when Daddy couldn't work because of sciatica.  School is running more smoothly after an evaluation and daily attention to detail.  All in all, I'm tempted to re-use that motto.  Being conscious of the power of daily consistency has radically changed my life during the past year, and I want that to continue and expand in the coming years.

I've been meditating during my walks on a powerful session from a 2010 ladies' conference on Micah 6:8 and the principles I've been studying in Essential Virtues: Marks of the Christ-Centered Life.   I'm seriously considering arete as my 2013 motto.  The Greek word, arete, translated virtue or excellence in the Bible is a powerful little word.  It reminds me that everything -- my home, my teaching, my piano playing, my relationships -- are to have the spirit of excellence that comes from seeking to glorify God in everything.  I know in our current culture, anyone exhibiting that kind of diligence and devotion is often perceived as being judgmental and phariseeical. Our world prefers messy people.   In all fairness, though, there is a real danger of  falling into a fleshly pursuit of perfection when you choose excellence.

This is where Micah 6:8 comes in.  "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? "

  • Do Justly.  First, my actions need to be arete.  I want to focus on consistently choosing arete, or excellence for myself.  I want to do all to the glory of God.  There's a funny twist to this though:  God measures our output, not our input, but we can only control the input.  Everything that we "output" is by the grace and work of Christ in our lives.  
  • Love Mercy.  Secondly, my reactions need to be arete.  Our fleshly response to others' sin and poor choices is either to try to rescue them from the consequences or wish that God would just "git 'em good."  Instead, we should love to see (and assist in prayer) God's hand in another person's life whether it is doling out discipline that will help them grow or bathing them in mercy because they have repented and returned to His ways.  Love doesn't throw stones or life preservers.  It trusts, prays, and waits like the father of the Prodigal Son who knew that both the pigpen and the feast with the fatted calf were equally important to restore fellowship.
  • Walk Humbly. My third responsibility is to keep my attitudes arete.  I need the humility that realizes anything good in my life is by the grace and work of Christ.  We tend to be arrogant about our strengths and overly sensitive about our weaknesses.    I have extremely low tolerance for poor service at a restaurant after thousands of hours spent waitressing.   On the flip side, I'm overly sensitive about my wardrobe which is hopelessly outdated and not likely to get better in the forseeable future.  (Just try teasing me about the 9" zipper and pleats on my jeans.  I dare you.)   Those are superficial examples, but they carry through into our spiritual walk as well.  Both sides of the coin are pride, and both need the power of Christ if we wish to see victory.
I'm not 100% sure that arete will be my theme/goal for 2013, but I'm fairly certain it will be some variation of that concept.  Well, you're all finished school, our 3.6 tons of coal for the winter just arrived on the truck, and it's time for a walk, so I need to wrap this up.

I love you!
Marmie (because we just watched Little Women together last night)

16 November 2012

Home Management Cheat Sheet

The Home Management Cheat Sheet is now available on Scribd.com for only 99 cents.  This one page document includes my morning, afternoon, and evening routines as well as daily and weekly chores on a single 8-/12 by 11 sheet.  The second page (unavailable for preview) defines the terms that are unique to me on the cheat sheet.  This text-only document can be printed on pretty paper or cardstock and is formatted to cut into cards and put on a ring if desired.  The weekly planner is still free and available on Scribd.com as well.

Holiday blessings!

12 September 2012

White Chicken Chili (No Beans!!!)

Dear Lissy,
Now that crisp fall weather has arrived, it's time to pull out all of my soup and stew recipes.  White Chicken Chili with chunks of tender chicken and chewy hominy is flavorful, but not hot thanks to ancho chile powder.  The selling point for me?  NO BEANS!

White Chicken Chili
Adapted from Woman's World Guilt-free Gourmet
Serves 6

12 oz. chicken breast, cut into small chunks
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 green poblano pepper, seeded and deveined, diced fine
A plain yellow or orange bell pepper can be substituted
1 large onion, chopped 
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. ancho chile powder
1 Tbsp. Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried marjoram or oregano
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 (15 oz) cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Lime wedges, optional
Corn Tortillas or Masa Harina, optional

First, a disclaimer:  This chili is a deep terracotta brown when finished.  "White" refers to the chicken and lack of tomatoes.
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat Dutch oven or deep saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1/2 of oil.  When oil shimmers, drop in chicken.  Allow to lightly brown, and stir.  When all sides are golden, remove chicken from pan and hold warm.  Do not completely cook chicken or it will be tough.
  2. Add remaining oil to pan.  Saute pepper and onion unil soft; season with salt and pepper.  Add chiles, garlic, ancho, cumin, and marjoram (oregano) and heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  3. Add broth and milk.  Bring to a simmer.  Add hominy and chicken, reducing immediately to low temperature.  Cover and keep just barely at a simmer until chicken is cooked.
  4. At this point the soup/chili is done.  For a thicker consistency, stir in a masa harina a little at a time or cut corn tortillas into thin strips and add to mixture.  We usually leave the chili with a soup consistency broth and break tortilla chips into it before eating.
  5. To serve:  Ladle into bowl, top with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or cilantro, and place a lime wedge on the edge of the bowl.  White chili is also yummy with grated cheese, but that ups the calorie and fat counts substantially.
Mom's notes:  
  • I almost never used canned broth or hominy in this dish, but rather made my own to cut the cost of the dish. 
  • Recipe doubles well.
  • We never served this to company because the spices made our noses run all through supper.
  • This dish tastes wonderful if you have a head cold.
  • Shredded rotisserie chicken works well for this dish.
Lovin' you,

07 September 2012

Camp Cooking with A Personal Stove

Dear Lissy,
The weather is still sultry and humid, but next week is supposed to return to the typical brisk New England fall weather.  I love, love, love to camp and hike during September and October.  Dad is a classic type B, and enjoys the slow rhythm of starting a fire and cooking over coals.  I need my coffee ASAP, and I like the flexibility of making a meal in 15-20 minutes before or after a day of hiking.  I used a little folding metal stand with solid fuel tabs for years, but last year Dad blessed me with a Jetboil.  Hooray!  I can make coffee and breakfast in just under 15 minutes now.  It's a good thing. . .

The all-in-one Flash Personal Cooking System is a canister cooking system designed to store the stove, fuel, stability feet, and pan adapter in the cooking pot.  The cooking pot  comes with a cozy and sippy lid so I can enjoy a ginormous mug of coffee or tea without pouring it into a separate mug.  In this pic you can also see the strainer holes in the lid for draining noodles easily.  Another popular personal stove is the Whisperlite stove series, but it is not an all-in-one.
The stove sets up in seconds by popping the stabilizer and burner onto the fuel canister.  The mug clicks onto the burner with a twist, and will boil up to a quart of water in a couple of minutes.
I set up the AeroPress Coffee Maker coffee maker and express oatmeal cup while I wait for the water to boil. Now I enjoy a cup of java and wait for the oatmeal to cool.

Fitting the pan stabilizer onto the stove allows me to scramble eggies.  The burner turns down very low, so this task is as simple as boiling water.

15 minutes in, breakfast is complete, and after washing one pan, a spatula and my spork, I'm ready to roll.  The AeroPress wipes out with a paper towel, and there's no campfire to extinguish.
I had gorgeous weather for this trip, but it's nice to have a reliable way to have hot meals and beverages in rainy weather or on the trail.  I've used this system more than once to make coffee or a quick meal during a power outage, too.  Remember:  any personal stove requires a well-ventilated place like a porch or picnic table -- don't try to use them indoors or in a tent!

I hope you and your family have many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.  Cooking for a crowd outside can be a huge chore, but if each teen and adult has a personal mess kit and stove, at least some of the meals are quick and easy.

Love ya,

05 September 2012

The Royal Secret of Success

Dear Lissy,
Tucked deep in Deuteronomy are two verses that offer seven conditional royal promises:
  • The king will learn to fear the LORD.
  • The king will be empowered to obey God's Word.
  • The king will be empowered to do God's will.
  • The king will consistently have victory over pride, the root of all other sin.
  • The king will not be influenced off the path of righteousness to the right or left.
  • He will prolong his life and reign.
  • His children will follow after him.
Those promises are dependent on the king doing one simple task:  

04 September 2012

Lemony Snickets

Dear Lissy,
Some days you need a giant, chewy, knock-your-socks-off cookie studded with goodies.  Other days you just want to fill the cookie jar to the brim without spending a third of your grocery budget.  For those days, Lemony Snickets fit the bill.  Crisp or soft and buttery-sweet with just a hint of lemon, the full recipe fills our gallon cookie jar and the fish stick decoy box in the freezer.  (What?  You never figured that out?  Really?  Well, now you know.)
Soft Lemony Snickets, fresh out of the oven.  I'd bake them to a deeper golden brown for crispy cookies.

02 September 2012

Tutorial: Pitching A Tent

Dear Lissy,
Shelter is your first priority in any outdoor situation.  Knowing how to properly pitch a tent means the difference between waking up dry and snug or in 4 inches of standing water.  Start well by pitching your tent at home first. If you have trouble telling which pole is which, mark them with electrical tape or nail polish.   Put a couple of extra nails or stakes into your kit, and make sure you have a hammer to pound them in and pry them out at camp.

Pick a relatively flat spot, and remove all branches and large rocks. Lay down a ground sheet or tarp that is  a couple of inches SMALLER than your tent.  If the ground sheet sticks out past the tent, you'll get wet if it rains!  One of the most common errors we saw in scouts was kids who put the ground cloth inside.

Stake out the tent so the floor is taut and the ground sheet is completely covered.
Double check that the door is where you want it before you pound in the stakes.
Erect your tent according to the manufacturer's directions.  Now is the time to make sure the gear loft or line is secure and pop an extra flashlight in the cargo pocket nearest the door.
Secure the rain fly. Stake the sides out as far as possible. The rain fly shouldn't touch your tent except at the clips.  If the fabric of the rain fly and fabric of the tent touch, you're going to get wet!  A completely waterproof piece of plastic tarp draped over the tent may keep rain out, but it also traps moisture in.  Use the same piece of tarp and cordage to make a rain fly over the tent instead.
A close-up showing the gap between the rainfly and the tent.
Align your sleeping bag so your head is facing uphill if the site isn't perfectly level.  I had the luxury of a 4 man tent all to myself, so I slept catty-cornered.  I would have put clothes or towels under one side of my sleeping pad to level it if we had 3 or 4 people in the tent.

For a bed as comfortable as your own at home, layer a foam/air combo mat; a camp style sleeping bag, zipped so you sleep on both layers; and then open out a traditional sleeping bag so only the foot portion is still zipped.  Place a comforter over the top.  Two pillows, one firm, and then your normal pillow are much more comfortable than just one pillow while camping.  If you are camping with the fam, you get one sleeping pad, one bag, and one pillow.  Groan.
The rain fly and door/window screens can be used to adjust the temperature.  For cool or cold nights, zip it up tight.  For "normal" weather (55 - 65) leave a vent open on both the door and window.  If the temperature is much over 65, you may want to remove the rain fly if it's a dry night, or the tent will get too warm for sleeping.  In the morning, unzip all the windows to air the tent.

Tentiquette 101

  • No food, beverages, or flames in the tent.  Period.  If you have to have plain water, store it vertically in a cargo pocket where it can't accidentally spill and soak a sleeping bag.  That little pack of m&m's you snuck in will draw skunks, raccoon, porcupines, squirrels, and possibly even bears.
  • Enter the tent bum first, sit just inside the door and remove your shoes while your feet are still outside the tent.
  • Don't enter another person's tent or sit or sleep on someone else's bag/pillow unless you've asked.
  • Keep the door zipped to keep mosquitoes out. 
  • Don't run around the tents.  If you trip on a guy line, you can hurt yourself and damage the tent beyond repair.
  • A small whisk broom/pan should be included in the gear.  Make one person responsible for sweeping out the tent each day.  The little sticks and pebbles that find their way in quickly damage the floor.
Taking Down the Tent
Reverse the order, making sure to empty the cargo pockets and gear loft.  Don't leave any stakes behind!

***As soon as you get home, hang your tent on a clothesline or in a dry attic to completely dry out before storage.***

Love you in"tents"ly,

01 September 2012

Tutorial: Cookin' On Coals

Dear Lissy,
I've just returned from my annual birthday solo camping trip, and I took about a bazillion pictures of how I accomplish various camp tasks to share with you.  My first (and best) technique is one I learned in Cub Scouts:  cooking over coals in foil "schooners".
Heavy Duty Foil. . .

Tear off a sheet about 3' long.

Fold it in half .
Fold each half back on itself leaving a 1" pleat. 
You should have a "w" shaped bottom when both sides are folded. 
Make three narrow folds on each side to seal the packet into a bag.
I've placed a penny here so you can see the width of the folds.
Prepare your ingredients by cutting them into quarter sized pieces about 1/4" thick.  
For this dinner I used 2 cheddar sausages, a small onion, half a pepper, and a small potato.
Open up the bag you made earlier, and add 1 Tbsp of oil or liquid.
Place ingredients into the bag.  Items that take the longest to cook (potatoes, here) should be placed into the bottom of the bag.  
Roll the top down three times, pressing well to seal.  Make a few vents near the top of the bag or you will get steam burns when you open the packet.
Place the bag directly on the coals.
Don't place a schooner into a fire that still has live flames, but a couple may flare up once the schooner is placed.  This technique works equally well on hot charcoal briquets.
A single-serving schooner takes 30 minutes, give or take.  I gave this packet a full 40 minutes to ensure the peppers and onions were well cooked.
I also rotated it a couple of times during cooking with tongs.
***No direct heat is needed for the sides of the packet.  It only requires heat on the bottom.***
Remove the schooner from the heat, and carefully unroll the top. Contents are extremely hot!!!
Boys enjoy eating straight out of the schooner, but I prefer a plate. . .and Moxie.
You can bake almost anything you can think of in a schooner -- even biscuits.  The key is the Tablespoon of liquid or oil in the bottom of the bag, and even heat on the bottom for the entire cooking time.  Because the heat never touches the food, it steam-bakes.  You won't end up with a layer of burnt potatoes at the bottom like you do with traditional foiled dinners.  I've also been impressed that the vertical cooking style allows up to 10 packets at a time in the same fire or grill.
The best part???  NO CLEAN-UP!!!!! Yay!!!!!

 Love you, Hot Stuff!

P.S.  If you need a large bed of coals to cook a posse of packets, add 6-8 pieces of wood all at once to an established fire.  Don't add any more fuel, simply allow all of the wood to burn down into a ginormous bed of coals.  If you're only cooking for one or two, make a standard camp fire, leaving an opening in the front for a schooner.

Linked up at Homestead Barn Hop

24 August 2012

Slow Cooker Not-So-Sloppy Joes

Dear Lissy,
The books are out, study areas set up, shiny new school supplies stocked, and assignment books filled and ready for next week.  The first six weeks of school are a bit of a challenge.  I invest a great deal of time up front to insure that each of you will be able to work independently for the remaining 30 weeks.  The garden is still putting out like a champ, so my afternoons are full, too.  Slow cooker meals are a blessing, and I bank all the meals I can into the freezer to give me longer afternoons.
See the original (sweeter!) recipe here.  
Slow Cooker Not-So-Sloppy Joes originally came from allrecipes.com.  The recipe makes a kid-friendly sloppy joe that is thick and sweet.  I modified it for the slow cooker, and increased the recipe to use an entire bag of ground beef from the butcher.  It makes three meals worth of sloppy joe mix for our family of five (Dad & the boys each have two, you and I eat one).  If the mix is too bland for your taste, replace the catsup with your favorite BBQ Sauce.

Slow Cooker Not-So-Sloppy Joes
24 servings
5 lbs lean ground beef, pork, venison, turkey, or combo of all
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped
1 family sized can condensed tomato soup
1 regular size can condensed tomato soup
3/4 cup catsup
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tsp. salt (I use celery salt)
1 tsp. garlic powder

24 buns TOTAL.  I usually buy these fresh for each meal, 8 at a time.

If desired, brown ground beef, drain, and rinse.  Very lean beef, venison, or ground turkey will not need to be pre-cooked.  Mix all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours, stirring occasionally so you don't end up with meatloaf.  Mixture will be thick.  Divide mixture and refrigerate portion to be frozen.  **Here's a little trick I learned in the foodservice industry.   Refill 20 oz soda bottles with water and freeze.  When you need to chill a soup or stew quickly, place the frozen bottle into the center of the container of hot soup/stew and the mixture will chill almost twice as fast.  Wash the outside of the bottle and return it to the freezer for future use** Hold portion to be served warm while buns are toasted.  Divide mixture evenly between buns and serve.  Once mixture in fridge is cold, divide into Ziploc bags, press out the air, and freeze flat.

I try to enjoy the busy seasons of life, knowing I'll miss them when they're gone.  Freezer and slow cooker meals help me keep my head and heart stable while my world is on fast forward.

 Much Love,

09 August 2012

Tween Transitions

Dear Lissy,

It's hard to believe my little toddlers are all tweens and teens!  The old saw, "the days crawl by, but the years fly by" has certainly been true in our lives.  Parenting tweens and teens is a challenge I've looked forward to for many years.   I'll use the verse from Luke, " And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." as my outline for our thoughts on parenting through the tween and teen years.  This letter is bittersweet for me, because I will most likely be home in Heaven by the time you need these words.

08 August 2012

First Aid: Spray-On Sunburn Relief

Dear Lissy,
Today's letter is just a quickie.  Grammy Kat was badly burnt last week, and we had to whip up a batch of spray-on sunburn relief because she couldn't bear to touch the tender skin.  I use the same formula for rashes  and areas that get lots of bug-bites.

1 bottle (16 oz) Witch Hazel
1 Tube (1 oz) 1% hydrocortisone 

  1. Pour about 1/4 of the bottle of witch hazel into a large spray bottle.  
  2. Squirt the entire tube of hydrocortisone into the bottle of witch hazel, and replace the cap securely.  Shake well until hydrocortisone emulsifies.  
  3. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle, and gently shake to combine with the rest of the witch hazel.
  4. Spray liberally on sunburn, avoiding eyes, nose, and mouth.  Spray or pour on cotton balls to treat the face.  It can be sprayed on the scalp, but will make your hair funky.
  5. Re-apply as needed.
Of course, it's always best to use sunscreen and bug dope or cover up, but the occasional emergency occurs.  This inexpensive solution offers instant relief and helps heal the skin.

Your freckled white mom!

Linked up at Works for Me Wednesday and Homestead Barn Hop

06 August 2012

Cheap Eats: Petits Riens

Cher Lissy,
One of your favorite suppers growing up was Petits Riens ("Little Nothings").  I occasionally find myself with bits and bobs of ingredients and/or leftovers that all get cooked into a hearty casserole for a family-only meal.  Although I typically season it with French herbs; Italian, Moroccan, Indian, Southwestern, or Chinese also work well.  A simple green salad and a loaf of great bread turn Petits Riens into a meal.

I don't have a recipe, but I do have a formula.  This recipe makes enough for 5-6 people, halve it for a couple.
Petits Riens

Starch, cooked:  Up to 4 cups of any kind of cooked starch.  Don't worry if it's already been seasoned, and feel free to combine multiple starches.  Rice, pasta, barley, corn, couscous, and oven roasted potatoes are all fair game.  I don't use bread, however.  I also try to mix starches that are about the same size -- penne and corscrew or barley, rice, and acine de pepe.
Protein, cooked:  1#, more or less.  Seriously, don't stress or measure the amount.  I've used everything from breakfast sausage to ends of deli meat to leftover taco mix.  A little bacon, sausage, or pepperoni added to the cheese topping gives great flavor. Hard-boiled eggs work well. Canned, frozen, or baked beans are also great.
Vegetables:  I don't use any (except corn, which is technically a grain, or thinly sliced tomatoes just under the cheese.)  I have never been a fan of vegetables in casseroles or roasts, and I almost never have leftover veg.  I always serve Petits Riens with a salad, too.
Sauce:  3-4 cups, freshly made.  Marinara, bechamel, veloute, or even a simple stock gravy are all fair game. Toss in a few dried mushrooms or just spices -- the sauce will flavor the Petits Riens and enhance or cancel the other flavors in the leftovers.  The freshly made sauce is what makes this dish special!
Cheese:  1-2 cups, whatever is on hand, optional.  Again, don't buy cheese for this event.  Use sliced American, cream cheese, shredded cheddar or mozzarella -- whatever you have lurking in the fridge.  I've used string cheese or even an egg mixed into sour cream in a pinch.  Avoid blue cheese or any other very strong cheeses.

Heat and stir together the starch and protein.  Heat or make the sauce, and fold into the meat/starch mixture.  Turn into a large casserole dish that has been lightly oiled.  Top with cheese.  Bake 25 minutes at 375 until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese starts to brown,  Serve hot.

Tonight's Petits Riens was sauteed chicken breast slices, brown rice, barley, and stelline pasta in a wild mushroom cream sauce flavored with tarragon, marjoram, and nutmeg.  I topped it with shredded Mexican cheese and crisp bacon.  I served an apple fan on a bed of greens with homemade bleu cheese dressing and Portuguese Sweet Bread alongside the Petits Riens.  The whole meal came together in under 45 minutes.

I'm making another Petits Riens for tomorrow's lunch with penne and corkscrew pasta, just under a pound of  browned hamburg and  leftover corn cut off the cob.   I'll combine most of a jar of marinara with 1/2 carton of leftover sour cream.   The whole Petits Riens will be topped with mozzarella and shaved parmesan, a handful of pepperoni slices cut into quarters, the end of a can of diced black olives, and a handful of chopped fresh basil from the garden.

The weather will be turning cool in another week or so, and we start school at the end of the month.  Petits Riens helps me use up the end of quick-cooking summer ingredients as I restock the pantry and freezer for the heartier fall and winter meals.

Je t'aime plus qu'hier moins que demain,

P.S.  April 2013 - We've discovered a FAVORITE new combo for a Mexican bake (pequeños nadas?).  4 cups cooked brown rice (cooked in chicken broth), 1 # cooked chicken chunks seasoned with chili powder, a pint of sour cream, a 4 oz can of diced green chiles, 2 tsp cumin, and a pound of corn roasted on an oiled pizza pan.  Turn into an oiled 13 x 9 x 2" pan, and top with shredded Mexican cheese.  Bake at  350 until bubbly and golden brown.  Serve with fresh salsa.

Linked up for the Homestead Barn Hop

01 August 2012

Moroccan Mint Flavored Water

Dear Lissy,
Hey, girlie!  It's been hot, hazy, and humid for most of the summer.  I confess, iced coffee or iced tea is far more appealing during this hot weather than plain old water, but I really don't want to drink my calories. I've been brewing up this favorite drink from the dead dark of winter when we all had the tummy bug.

25 July 2012

3 Things We're Looking For in a Daughter-In-Law

Dear Nate & Matt,
Lissy's away at camp this week, so it's time for a letter to my bestest men.  We just finished a mighty round of mini-golf and celebrated the birthday of the hot fudge sundae.  The summer weather is perfect, but I'm fighting a monster head cold, so we're just doing simple day trips rather than our planned hiking and camping.

Someday in the not-too-distant future, you two will be bringing home young ladies for us to meet.  I'm sure we'll all be a little nervous, but I want to reassure you that we have only three things we "require" in a future daughter-in-law.

First and foremost, your young bride-to-be must have surrendered her life and will to Christ. 

We'll ask questions to determine if you both have a common life goal.  Does she dream of serving the Lord in Africa while you have a burden to work in a local church?  Does she want the American dream (or a slightly sanctified version) while you have plans to head to Papua, New Guinea?  We'll be looking for a heart that desires to serve the Lord whether he calls your family to corporate America or the bush of Kenya.

Is she willing to live where God calls you, or is she expecting to live within a certain distance of her own family?  If her parents have expectations, is she willing to follow you even if it disappoints them?  Are they willing to let her - and their grandchildren - live far away, or will they keep pressure on you your whole life?

Is she willing to live on the salary God provides, or does she have expectations of a certain lifestyle?  Do her parents have expectations that may be disappointed by your choices?  Are you both willing to honor her parents' requirements for marriage?

Secondly, we'll be looking at whether or not your chosen one has been faithful to live within the structure of authority God has placed in her life.

You can tell how a young lady will follow your leadership by looking at how she interacts with her father, bosses, peer leaders, and teachers.  Does she pout, yell, or use the silent treatment to get her own way?  Is she outwardly compliant and then complaining or deceiving them behind their backs?  Does she honor the limits we and or your college have set for you while dating/courting?  Is she honoring her parents' wishes regarding you, even if they aren't saved or she doesn't agree with them?

Does she love you or the idea of you?   There are some girls who dream of a husband and home and seek only to fill in the blank with a breathing male.  If she appears to be "in love with love", or more excited about the wedding than about a lifetime with you, she's going to have a difficult time following God's plan for wives.  That's already a challenging role, and it will be far more difficult if you're a faceless Disney prince rather than her beloved.

Is she willing to serve in and be a vital part of a local church?  Christian young people are deserting the church by the thousands, even though it is God's vehicle for growth and service in this present world.  We are unlikely to approve a young lady that embraces the home church movement or a personal spirituality that eschews the church.  Is she obedient to the commands in God's Word, or does she regularly substitute the words of science/psychology, her own (or her parents') experience, her education, or her feelings?

Lastly, we'll be looking for a young woman who doesn't think of herself.  Her confidence is in God, and she seeks to love and serve others with a Christ-like spirit.

Does she have a teachable heart?  We don't care if she can cook, run a home, sew, decorate, write, play an instrument, or complete a marathon.  What we do care about is if she is willing to learn the things that are important to you as her husband and head of her home.  Nate's wife is a lucky gal:  if she can manage to heat a frozen pizza or pick up cheeseburgers at a drive-thru, he'll be a happy man.  Matt's wife had better be able to keep pace with Rachael Ray -- he likes good food! (She'll also need to appreciate being wrestled down and tickled -- she is going to be a spunky and extraordinary woman, I am sure!)

Is she modest in dress and demeanor?  You have a sister who loves to dress boldly and be the center of attention in any gathering.  We've spent the better part of eight years teaching her to be aware of others.  She will not be allowed to enter a dating or courtship relationship until we are confident that she consistently has a heart for others, even if she's of age.  Your chosen young woman will most definitely have a personality and personal preferences, but we will be looking to see if those are expressed withing the boundaries of godliness.

What service opportunities has she already pursued?  Has she served in her local church?  Is she on a Christian Service or Mission Prayer Band team?  Has she completed any service at a Christian camp or on a short term mission trip?  Does she have any experience with community service?  Does she quietly encourage and pray for others within her church and circle of friends?

How does she interact with others, especially family and close friends?  There's a reason you won't be going on a lot of "single" dates at first.  We'll be asking you to carefully watch how your sweetheart interacts with other close friends and family.  How does she respond to good natured teasing?  Is she kind to those younger or less fortunate than herself?  Does she pitch in and help out or sit waiting to be served?  How does she interact with the elderly or toddlers?  Is she patient, or does she become condescending?  All of these will become vitally important when you're living daily life with someone.

Ultimately, we are far more concerned with who your love is than what she is.
We don't care what nationality or ethnicity  or IQ your chosen beloved is.  We'll welcome a Southern Belle or a little Japanese girl that would fit in a golf bag with room to spare.  Indian or African, Midwesterner or Middle Eastern, she will be loved!

Love you both dearly,

Linked up at Raising Homemakers andWomen Living Wisely

24 July 2012

Packing for Camp(ing)

Dear Lissy,

We dropped you off at summer camp yesterday for the first time.  You've been planning and packing for weeks, and nearly died from excitement when you saw your little cabin.  While it's still fresh in my mind, I wanted to remind you how we pack for camp/camping.

19 July 2012

Packing A Sunday Tote Bag

Dear Liss,

I nearly dislocate my wrists every Sunday trying to carry in all my stuff into church -- if I don't forget it at home!   On top of all my flotsam and jetsam, Dad used to be a defacto sherpa to handle the additional diaper bags, busy bags, and bucket seats that accompany young children.  We teased that our van looked like we were invading Cuba, not just heading out for a couple of hours.

I'm loving this $5 pattern with handles and a strap from
I'm determined to get everything into one tote bag like our friend, Mrs. W.  She helped me get each of you trained to carry Sunday bags of your own so that our pew didn't look like a FEMA disaster area after church.  Thankfully, the old New England tradition of the Pastor's family pew facing the congregation had been discontinued by the time Daddy took his first church, but we still felt a responsibility to keep our spot tidy.

Looking at what I want to bring...
  • Purse 
  • 911 kit in a repurposed fanny wipe box with Advil/Tylenol, Bandaids, wet wipes, mints, tissues, earrings (why do I ALWAYS forget earrings on Sunday???), cough drops, sewing kit, hair ties and clips, hand sanitizer, and stain wipes.  
  • Bible and notebook  
  • Music books/binders
  • Junior church Flash-A-Cards, story props, and craft supplies
  • Junior church snack
  • Additional space for items to lend/return
  • Snacks for the ride home from church (cheese sticks, chewy granola bars, etc.)
Maybe I should just give up the tote idea and buy a grocery cart!

If I had children under 5, I'd also include. . .
  • A quiet interactive activity for before and after the service and during the offertory or special music.  Something as simple as a magnetic tic-tac-toe or similar game they can play WITH a parent or sibling helps to keep them quiet and still.  We've always been a part of small churches where parents were responsible for their children before, between, and after services.  It is oh-so-hard to give up that precious fellowship time to train your children to be thoughtful of others.  I was blessed to have a few brothers and sisters in Christ who made a point to come over and fellowship where we were sitting or even walk around outside with me so I could keep an eye on you.  Obviously I wasn't perfect, which explains the scar on your forehead and everybody's favorite story about 2 year old Matt gleefully sitting in a drainage swale up to his armpits in murky runoff from the parking lot.  In a suit. Not my best parenting moment.
  • A couple of quiet independent activities for the message.  Your favorites were always a little water game that involved pushing a button to get tiny plastic rings to float into goals and a magnet set.  You had a paper doll set, a farm set, and a circus set that we rotated. Unless you have an unusual toddler, they rarely spend more than a few minutes coloring or drawing on any one page and the rustling papers can be distracting.  
  • A quiet snack like gummy bears or yogurt dots.  Remember your Sours addiction as a toddler? 
For children between 5 and 8ish. . .
Stacy Vaughn's DVD case tutorial is the Bombdiggety!

Keep a notebook and pen or pencil and perhaps a plastic egg with a marble sized blob of sticky tack for a wiggly soul like your brother, Matt.  We had you pack your own bag with a Bible, notebook, pen, tissues, and a Fun Pad at this age, so I really only needed an emergency backup plan.

I'm hoping that condensing my kit down to one tote bag will ease the stress of getting out the door in the morning. . .we shall see!

Much love,

Linked up at Women Living Wisely and Raising Homemakers

16 July 2012

Cheap Eats: Honey Mustard Sauce

Dear Lissy,

"God is never late, but seldom early and what He gives needs no improvement," has been a favorite saying of our family since Daddy and I first married.  I began praying at the beginning of the year for a new (to us) vehicle because our mechanic had warned us that ours wouldn't pass inspection this August.  My wish list was nearly a page long, but our "God of the impossible" provided once again:  an elderly couple in our church gifted us a classic Chevy Caprice with a rebuilt engine, tranny, and new paint job.  Your brothers are ecstatic -- this is a "cool" car for teen boys in our neck of the woods, and they no longer have to fold themselves into pretzels to get into the back of a minivan.  I'm just in awe of our God that found a way to keep us car payment free even though we've had a lean couple of years. 

I'm sharing one of our family's favorite recipes with you today, Honey Mustard Sauce.  It works equally well for salad dressing, dip, or brushing on grilled meat.  Nate likes to drizzle it on baked sweet potatoes -- kind of gross, but hey, he's 14.

Honey Mustard Sauce
from Family Feasts for $75 Week

1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate in airtight container.  Keeps for up to 2 months unless you made it with homemade mayonnaise.



09 July 2012

One Quick Tip: Whiteboards

Dear Lissy,

Whiteboards are the ne plus ultra of the KISS principle (Keep it simple, sweetie!).  An old school whiteboard re-attached to the back of the kitchen door holds menus, appointments and to-do lists for summertime. There are dozens of tutorials for pretty "Kitchen Command Centers" online, and I've pinned more than a few.  This system has worked so well for our family that I may upgrade to a designer version in the fall, but this old board is serving me well for the summer when I'd rather be outdoors.


Linked up at Works for Me Wednesday

05 July 2012

Inductive Bible Study, Part 7: Wrap It Up!

Dear Lissy,
Wasn't the 4th beautiful?  I always enjoy family get togethers at the lake. We've done an enormous amount of work Observing, Interpreting, and Applying through chapter analysis.  We need to have a readily accessible record of our study so we can refer back to it often.   Everyone does this a little differently, but there are five things I want to have on permanent record from my study.

02 July 2012

Time Management 911

Dear Lissy,

Life feeling like three gallons of crazy in a two gallon bucket?  Or maybe it's an overwhelmed friend dissolving in tears on your couch instead?  Dry those eyes, square your shoulders, and start in on Momma's Emergency Plan!

week one:  Without a list you're listless.
Write down the 5 most important things you need to get done today.  Do not just "think" them.  Do not make more than 5.  You may want to brush up on the most important household tasks before making your list.
  • Going to any appointment or meeting counts as one item. 
  • Only write things you can actually do.  Don't write "Dishes", but "Wash and put away dishes, scrub sink and counters."
  • Up to 3 loads of laundry = 1 list item.  If you want to do more than that today, it will have to be done after you've completed the list
Do it.  Put on some zippy tunes, and get to work.  Don't go to the park with friends, take a computer break, read a book, or pull out a craft project until those 5 things are done.

Repeat.   Do this every day.  You're off to a great start!

week two:  Write a  morning and evening routine.
Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half.  Write down everything you do (or should do) first thing in the morning on one side and last thing at night before bed on the other side.  
  • Do not add items you want to do someday like family devotions or exercise yet.
  • Put "Write tomorrow's 5 To-Do" on the evening routine list, and "5 To-Do List" after breakfast on the morning routine.
  • "Run Load of Laundry" should be on the morning routine.
  • Put a bedtime and alarm time on each routine.
Post your routine where you can see it easily.  The front of the fridge is great.  So is your nightstand.  Don't put it out of sight in a notebook, though.

Do it every day, first and last.  Do your morning routine before you do anything else (even checking e-mail!), and don't go to bed without doing your evening routine.  

week three:  Establish a mealtime routine.
Here's your new mealtime routine.  Do or delegate, just get it done.
  • Prep the meal.
  • Serve the meal.
  • Put away leftovers
  • Clean all the dishes & pans now.
  • Clean the kitchen and dining room, including a quick sweep/damp mop under the table and edges of the counter.
  • Prep as much as possible for the next meal.
Keep doing your evening and morning routines (and writing that list!)

week four:  Write a Weekly Plan
Designate each day of the week for specific household tasks.  Here's our family's plan.
  • Monday:  Regroup & Plan
  • Tuesday:  Errands
  • Wednesday:  Desk
  • Thursday:  
  • Friday:  Cleaning
  • Saturday:  Car & Yard 
  • Sunday:  Lord's Day
*Notice I left one day completely blank so I can either take the day off, or take another day off and slide that day's work onto Thursday.

Weekly plans are a powerful productivity tool with many applications, but for now: 
  1. Set a timer and spend one hour per day on the category you've chosen.
  2. Schedule to-do items for the day they most closely fit.  Take the suit to the dry cleaners on Tuesday, don't make a special trip on Friday.  If a friend wants to get together, suggest Thursday (but be flexible!)
  3. Create some visible way to save reminders for things that need to be done on a particular day.   I prefer a whiteboard divided into seven squares on the back of the kitchen door, but an SMS or e-mail reminder sent to the day works fine, too.   Out of sight, out of mind:  be very wary of creating notebooks or folders that require you to open and use them.
Keep up with your morning, evening, and mealtime routine.  The list should be a habit by now, too.

This plan is rather bossy, and it's meant to be.  If you're feeling overwhelmed, you need a clear voice to cut through the fog and just say "do this".  I've included gobs of  background and philosophy for each of these steps in other letters.  

 Love and a big hug,

linked up at newlifeonahomestead.comraisinghomemakers.comwomenlivingwell.org, and Works for Me Wednesday

26 June 2012

Inductive Bible Study, Part 6H: Application Brings Transformation

Dear Lissy,

We've finally reached the pinnacle of our Inductive Bible Study.  We've carefully observed and interpreted the passage, and it's time for some heart work.

Transformation, not information, is the goal of  Bible study.

So now we have the million-dollar question:  How do we use all of the information we've observed and interpreted to effect transformation in our lives?  How do we sing or play a music score?  How do we transition from the "Drivers' Ed" classroom to cruising down the highway at 65 mph? 

You will probably not choose to meditate on every single thing you've observed.  Pray, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to where He seeks to work in your life right now.  Chances are He's already convicted your heart during the observation/interpretation portions of this study.

First:  Rules inform, relationships transform
Our character transforms to that of our companions.  Proverbs warns us against friendships with angry, lust-filled, or slothful people, and encourages us to spend time with friends who pursue righteousness.  Story after story from both the Bible and History show us that we become the people with whom we spend time.  As a teacher, I knew the friendships my students enjoyed held far more sway over their lives than the school's rules.  A good kid who fell in with a bad crowd invariably became a rebel, and an impressionable young freshman that got involved with godly kids usually grew by leaps and bounds.  They were all restrained by the same set of rules, but they did not all grow into godliness.

A relationship with Christ is the only thing that will transform your life.  A list of facts and rules dug out of your study cannot change you on their own.  As you meditate on Christ's character, you will learn to value what He values because of your deepening love for Him.

Take a look at a common verse, Ephesians 4:32.  "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."  A typical application would be to resolve to be kinder to others and forgive them readily.  That may go pretty well for you for a short time, but sooner or later someone is going to really step on your toes, and that resolution is going to go out the window.  Now, instead, let's look at how that rule informs us about Christ's person and character.

Second:  Place information in the context of relationship 
What does this passage reveal about the God (Christ's) character?  He values kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.
What is kindness?  Gentle usefulness  tenderheartedness? sympathy, empathy forgiveness? freely giving pardon
What else does this passage reveal or do I already know about these attributes of Christ? 
It directly states that God has forgiven us for Christ's sake.  I know that lovingkindness is one of the traits God values most highly in himself (Jer. 9:24).  I know that Christ's office as our high priest is directly related to the sympathy he holds in his heart for us and our troubles (Hebrews).  I know that he despises those who will not forgive the petty offenses of a fellow believer after all He has forgiven (Parables).  Etc...I often spend days or even weeks on this question.
How does the world display these character qualities differently from the Bible?  
If I had a nickel for every time I'd read "I only want to be friends with those who lift me up and make me a better person", I could retire.  The world wants friends that are useful, and rejects those who are difficult or demanding.  They hold grudges, or simply discard and ignore friends that have hurt them rather than restoring relationships.  They want everyone to sympathize with their situation, but they rarely consider another person's troubles when passing judgement.  Almost no one is willing to be a friend to a person who is going through an extended difficulty, especially if it's emotionally draining.
Who else in the Bible experienced or demonstrated these character qualities?  
The incident with Christ making fish on the coals, instructing his AWOL disciples to let down the nets on the other side of the ship for a large haul, and then confronting and forgiving Peter for his betrayal leaps instantly to mind.  David demonstrated all of these qualities on multiple occasions.  Hosea.  Not Jonah!  Dozens of stories in both the Old and New Testaments are flooding my mind.  This question is another one that takes a considerable amount of time if you've been saved for a while and a faithful student of God's Word.
Is there another of God's attributes that seems to be in opposition to this one?
Judgement or believer's chastisement.  How can a person who freely and readily forgives also judge? Many of God's judgments are extremely harsh.  How does that fit in with His lovingkindness? Hmmmm...that's going to need a little more thought and study.  (Hint:  God shows us the link between lovingkindness and judgement in Jer. 9:24 -- His righteousness.)

At this point you've thought through how this "rule" belongs to Christ and why it's important to Him.  You are strongly associating the information with a relationship.

Third:  Use the information about the relationship to effect transformation.
There are three questions we can use to transform our lives into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
How have I seen Christ demonstrate ____________ in my life and the lives of those around me?
Write them down.  Praise God for showing these aspects of Himself to you.

Have I allowed Christ free reign to demonstrate these aspects of Himself through my life?
Think about this.  Write down concrete examples.  Write down ideas for how you could demonstrate these qualities more effectively.

If these character qualities have been lacking in my life, what have others been seeing in me instead of the _________ that would have demonstrated a Christ-filled life?
Again, think.  Ask the Holy Spirit to bring times that you've struggled or failed in this area to mind and write them down.

Lastly, P.R.A.Y. the passage.  Talk with God about it!
(The PRAY acronym was developed and copyrighted by Evangelist Steve Pettit, and is adapted here.)

Praise God for His attributes you've studied and meditated on.
Repent for the areas you've not been following His Word and showing Him to your fellow believers and the world.
Ask Him to show you who needs to see these aspects of Christ in your life or how you can transform your heart and mind in this area.
Yield to the Holy Spirit and allow him to work on these areas of growth on a day-to-day basis.

This information was first presented in Jim Berg's classic, Changed Into His Image, a letter-turned-book written to his daughters.  I've used the material for years to teach Bible study and meditation to ladies' groups.  If you want the booklet I pass out to my classes with these questions listed, just call me or shoot me an e-mail.  My application method is a bit unconventional, and you may want a "hard copy" of the meditation prompts in the LAMP booklet to guide your meditation as you apply your studies and seek to transform into the image of your precious Savior.

Transformed by His love,

Linked up at Raising HomemakersGood Morning Girls, and Women Living Wisely

Inductive Bible Study, Part 1: Preparation
Inductive Bible Study, Part 2: Read
Inductive Bible Study, Part 3: Seeking the Context
Inductive Bible Study, Part 4: Book Summary Key
Inductive Bible Study, Part 5: The Choice
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6a: Chapter Analysis
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6b:  Identifying Key Words
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6C: Finding the 3C's
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6D: It's About Time
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6E: Keep Digging
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6F: Word Studies
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6G: Considering Context
Inductive Bible Study, Part 6H: Application Brings Transformation 
Inductive Bible Study, Part 7: Wrap It Up!